After extensive disruptions in 2020 and 2021, many businesses are relocating. Increasingly remote workforces, rising property prices in some areas, downsizing, upsizing and more have all changed companies’ office needs.
Moving can bring many benefits to businesses, but it can be a complicated undertaking. Here are ten considerations to keep in mind when relocating to a new office.
1. Physical Space
Before deciding on a new office, companies must consider how much space they need. With businesses expecting 58% of their workforce to be fully remote within five years, many may not need as much space as before. At the same time, it’s not a bad idea to find somewhere with room to grow.
The best spaces can expand or shrink affordably and quickly as businesses need. It’s also important to consider how much storage space is necessary and how an ideal office layout would fit in a given area.
2. Lease Terms
Next, businesses should take a look at their current lease. Does the contract stipulate that they have to stay for a few more years before moving? Are there any penalties for moving early? Reviewing these before making a decision can help avoid any costly legal setbacks.
The lease terms of the new office space are also crucial. As the past few years have proved, a company’s physical space needs can fluctuate quickly. Considering that, it may be best to look for leases with short terms or forgiving deposit policies to enable more scalability.
3. Employee Transportation
Employers should also keep their employee’s needs in mind when looking at new locations. Even if a company moves within the same city, it could change how employees get to work. If possible, aim for a location with plenty of transportation options for commuting workers to make the transition easier.
Since 29% of greenhouse gas emissions come from transportation, this is also an ideal time to embrace sustainability. If an office space is close to public transport stations, it could make it easier for employees to green their commute.
4. IT Requirements
Another crucial factor to consider is the company’s IT requirements. With 61% of global companies moving more data onto the cloud, businesses today may not have extensive on-premise infrastructure needs. Still, teams must ensure the new space can meet their internet requirements, can host all their electronics and so on.
This is also a good time to review if some legacy equipment deserves an upgrade. The new space may not support old systems, or it may be unequipped for newer ones. Businesses should review these factors to find a space that works for them.
Businesses should also look for an area that will be safe for their employees. The CDC says there are eight nonfatal violent workplace crimes per 1,000 workers, but 58% go unreported. Considering that, it’s important to ensure the new office has no glaring security issues and can easily implement things like cameras and keycard access.
Keeping things secure during the move is also important. Companies should look for secure storage options and keep an up-to-date inventory of expensive equipment to catch any damage or loss.
6. Updating the Company Address
In all of the busyness and confusion surrounding the move, it can be easy to overlook updating the company’s address. Before moving to the new location, businesses should tell their customers and partners where they’ll reopen. Once there, they should update their social media, website and other records to reflect the new address.
Companies will also need to update their billing information for any ongoing expenses and shipments. Forgetting to do so can result in failed payments, missed deliveries and other setbacks. Planning to update all these forms ahead of time and creating a to-do list can help prevent that.
7. Moving Logistics
After settling on a location, businesses need to figure out how to get things from point A to point B. If renting a space, check with the property owner to see if there are any time restrictions for when teams can and can’t move. Next, consider the vehicles that will take equipment from one office to another.
If moving in the winter, teams should ensure all their moving vehicles are ready for the weather to protect the shipments. Some parts, like trailer roofs, need inspections at least annually to make sure they’re winter-ready, so be sure to pay attention to them.
8. Available Moving Companies
While working through the logistics of the move, businesses should compare available moving companies. It’s certainly possible to transfer everything without a mover, but there may not be enough volunteers to do it in time. Moving companies also offer the advantage of expertise and, in some cases, insurance.
Moving insurance will incur a higher cost, but it will offer peace of mind and security should any expensive equipment get damaged in the move. It’s also crucial to look through customer reviews to ensure the mover is timely, careful and worth their price.
Moving can be a confusing time for employees, business partners and customers. Consequently, maintaining regular, clear communication with all affected parties is a must. This should start in the early planning stages, letting employees know that the office is moving, what that entails and why.
In normal settings, poor communication costs $420,000 a year in companies with 100 or fewer employees. Add the stress and confusion of a move into the mix, and miscommunication quickly becomes an expensive mistake. Businesses should inform everyone of anything they should know as soon as possible to enable a smooth transition.
10. Onboarding Employees
After the move, it may take employees a while to adjust to the new space. Employers can make it easier by thinking through what questions workers will have and providing solutions. Going through the new layout beforehand can help, as can posting plenty of signage to help employees navigate.
If business fluctuates regularly throughout the year, aim to move during a less busy time. That way, any drops in productivity won’t affect the company as heavily and management can give workers more grace as they adapt.
An Effective Move Requires Extensive Preparation
Moving to a new office can save money, enable expansion, improve productivity and more. However, businesses won’t recognize those benefits immediately. Moving is disruptive and can be expensive, so it’s best to plan as much as possible to minimize the transition period.
Any business relocating to a new office should work through these ten considerations. If they plan effectively, they can move with minimal disruption.